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» Environment minister said money would resolve the selection of temporarily radioactive waste storage

Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara apologized on June 17 for suggesting that payments to residents in Fukushima Prefecture would resolve the problem of selecting a site to temporarily store radiation-contaminated soil.

That comment came the previous day, after Ishihara reported to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on the status of the project to construct the interim storage facility in Okuma and Futaba, both near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“With the conclusion of the explanatory meetings, I talked (with Suga) about the future schedule,” Ishihara told reporters June 16. “In the end, it will come down to money. (Suga) did not say anything in particular about the monetary figure (for compensation to local residents) that was presented at the explanatory meetings.”

In exchange for hosting the interim storage facility, the central government plans to provide a tax grant to the host municipality and compensation to individuals whose land will be used in the project. The size of the grant and compensation is expected to be a key factor in gaining the consent of the local community.

<Media Report>
Ishihara visits Fukushima in latest apology over cash-for-storage gaffe (Japan Times)

Environment minister suggests Fukushima residents can be bought (Asahi Newspaper)

Chastened Ishihara apologizes to Fukushima mayors, governor for ‘money’ remark (Asahi Newspaper)

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